KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Alaska To Be Hit Hard With Hospital Infection Penalties

Elsewhere, medical marijuana's usefulness in treating pain is questioned after New York lawmakers legalized it.

Kaiser Health News: Medicare Penalties For Hospital Infections Will Hit Alaska Hard 
The four largest hospitals in Alaska are facing Medicare payment penalties for the quality of their care. Providence, Alaska Regional, Alaska Native Medical Center and Fairbanks Memorial are all in the bottom 25 percent nationally for the number of infections and serious complications patients get in their hospitals, according to data analyzed by Kaiser Health News. The penalties are part of a focus on quality care that’s included in the Affordable Care Act (Feidt, 6/27).

The New York Times: Politicians' Prescriptions For Marijuana Defy Doctors And Data
New York moved last week to join 22 states in legalizing medical marijuana for patients with a diverse array of debilitating ailments, encompassing epilepsy and cancer, Crohn's disease and Parkinson's. Yet there is no rigorous scientific evidence that marijuana effectively treats the symptoms of many of the illnesses for which states have authorized its use. Instead, experts say, lawmakers and the authors of public referendums have acted largely on the basis of animal studies and heart-wrenching anecdotes. The results have sometimes confounded doctors and researchers (Saint Louis, 6/26).

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